Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is Bipartisanship Dead Before CCC Reconvenes?


According to some “in-the-know”, the GOP-fueled redistricting plan now being proposed by City-County Council President Ryan Vaughn and constructed by GOP operative David Brooks is a clear slap at bi-partisanship. As presumptive Council President Maggie Lewis said in one of her first public statements after being nominated by the Democratic caucus that she would reach across the aisle and talk to the Mayor about finding common ground, the Mayor’s king makers were apparently preparing to announce a plan to bypass Dems altogether.

I know that because I heard it from a high-ranking Republican at a public meeting on Monday night. Former City-County Council President Bob Cockrum said at the Decatur Township Civic Council meeting that the GOP plan this time around was introduced now while the Republicans held both the legislative and executive branches of city government to avoid potential legal issues and problems that might come up if Democrats tried to put forth their own plan in 2012. In essence, let’s get it done quick to avoid any dissent.

In the process, the Marion County Democratic Party claims that the Republicans ran over a whole slew of barricades and roadblocks that assure that districts aren’t simply drawn willy nilly or for purely political purposes. The Dems say there was no oversight of the process, and there could not have been much.

This is not the kind of start you might have thought might come from a party that was just rejected by City-County Council voters. It’s certainly not the action of a Mayor that has won his office by little more than the electoral equivalent of a whisker, twice.

If this is going to be the tone and tenor of the next four years, the City-County Council’s relationship with the Mayor will make Congress’ squabbles with the President all too local.

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